Are Electric Vehicle Sales Faltering? How to Encourage EV Use
Electric car use is changing the transportation sector globally as people yearn for a cleaner and more efficient way to reach their destination. How are electric vehicles (EVs) faring regarding widespread user and market acceptance?
Factors Hindering Electric Car Use
Reports of slow EV sales in the U.S. are emerging, with some dealers saying they have nearly stopped selling. Some experts are weighing in on this, saying it’s just part of the trend with any new technology. People may just be wary of adopting EVs as a means of transportation. Here are some factors considered by consumers:
People have range anxiety or a fear of running out of charge during trips. It’s a primary concern among potential EV buyers, with some fearing going on long journeys, especially if unfamiliar with the route. Others worry about the few charging stations along the way.
Consumers are accustomed to the gas-and-go lifestyle associated with conventional vehicles. They can fill up at a gas station and be on their way. People are afraid to let go of this convenience.
Consumers consider driving EVs to be a complete lifestyle change. That thinking has merits since drivers must familiarize themselves with charging, different car features, handling, and many other factors.
People believe switching to EVs may impact their lives negatively. This is due mainly to the unknowns of owning and driving them.
Consumers and dealers often worry about EVs fetching a heftier price tag than conventional vehicles due to high production costs. EVs depend on high-capacity batteries for driving and other features. These batteries cost a lot of money to build, service or replace.
2023 data shows EVs to be around $8,000 more expensive than internal combustion engine (ICE) cars. Hopefully, with the constant development of manufacturing technologies, newer EVs will have lower price tags in the future.
Electric vehicles can be as futuristic as cars can get. Fully self-driving options are still a long way off, but the EVs of today differ in service requirements compared to traditional offerings.
Consumers are used to bringing their gas-powered cars to shops for maintenance like oil changes, brake cleaning, and tire rotations. EVs require different maintenance procedures to stay in tip-top shape. Battery health is among the top considerations for electric vehicle maintenance and replacements can get expensive, especially in states with few patrons.
Aside from range anxiety, potential EV buyers also worry about charging. They think of the availability of chargers in their cities or along major highways and the cost of EV charging installation for their homes. While some EVs can plug into a regular wall outlet, the lack of communication between the EV and the charger means the charging can sometimes be inefficient.
Other people also worry about long charging times associated with EVs. The fastest chargers found in commercial stations — Level 3 chargers — can reach 80% in as quickly as 20 minutes or full in one hour. On the other hand, professionally installed Level 2 chargers can charge EVs from empty in four to 10 hours.
How Countries Can Encourage Electric Car Use
Norway is a small country with long roads, mountainous terrain, and long, harsh winters. These conditions make it one of the least conducive places for electric vehicles. However, Norway has the most electric cars globally, with 79% of vehicles on the road running on electric energy.
Christina Bu, the secretary general of the Norwegian Electric Vehicle Association, spoke on TEDxArendal in 2022 to share how her country did it. She enumerated some factors that helped the country embrace electric transportation.
Creating tax incentives for consumers who choose EVs over ICE cars is a great way to encourage people to switch. In the U.S., car owners can get up to $7,500 in tax credits when they buy new electric vehicles in 2023. Another IRS incentive includes a $4,000 credit for used plug-in and fuel-cell electric vehicles.
Norway did the same by removing taxes on all imported electric vehicles to make EVs more attractive to consumers. The country also added perks such as lower road tolls, free ferry crossings, and parking for EV owners.
One of Norway’s ambitious goals is to commit to a 100% zero-emissions future for all cars by 2025. It’s a huge commitment to promote an environmentally friendly transportation sector. The world can learn something from the Scandinavian country.
The U.S. government set a similar goal to make half of all new vehicles zero-emission by 2030. This includes setting up a network of 500,000 chargers to make electric cars a viable and accessible option for all Americans. Government policies to promote EVs are vital to their wider acceptance globally.
Education About EVs
Education leads to better understanding. This thinking applies to the EV industry and its acceptance by the majority. As people learn more about EV technology, they’ll understand the benefits of this new earth-friendly transport alternative.
Bu shares in her speech how people in her country changed their views on trying electric vehicles. They went from confessed petrolheads to fans of EVs and shared their discovery with other community members.
Support From Different Sectors
One of the fundamental challenges in promoting EV use is the lack of support from various sectors. Changing this reality could improve the future of electric cars globally. In Norway’s example, different stakeholders supported government policies to promote electric vehicles.
Technology companies built almost 17,000 charging stations nationwide to make owning EVs more convenient. Car importers and dealers pitched in to meet the demands and requirements of consumers. Local communities also helped in this scenario by complying with government policies and patronizing EVs over ICE cars.
Driving Into the Future With Electric Cars
Consumers worldwide will warm up to driving electric cars if they fit their needs and lifestyles. With a little help from the government and different sectors, people can switch to a cleaner and more efficient transportation alternative.